Help with oyster reef restoration research in northwest Florida

The Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration Program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory (FSU) are teaming together to conduct research on eco-friendly, biodegradable oyster reef restoration materials. These materials are designed to help restore northwest Florida’s oyster reef habitat and to create new living shorelines structures that help protect coastal property.

The FWC is currently seeking volunteers on April 11 and April 12 to assist with the deployment of new oyster reef materials at the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory in Franklin County, located at 3618 US Highway 98, St Teresa, FL 32358.

Volunteers will assist FWC and FSU staff in transporting materials from a storage pile to a transport vessel, as well as off-loading materials from that vessel for placement on intertidal oyster reef habitat. Materials will include biodegradable coir (coconut fiber) oyster shell bags and fossilized oyster rock. Activities may include filling buckets with oyster rock material (each rock no more than 12 inches in diameter), lifting items up to 25 pounds and placing individual rocks in about 2 feet of water on existing oyster habitat. We also will be walking across sand flats and oyster reefs to access the site.

What? Help FWC and FSU deploy and test new biodegradable materials for oyster habitat restoration.

When? Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12, with 2 timeslots available each day: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Five to 10 volunteers needed for each session.

Where? FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory, 3618 US Highway 98, St. Teresa, FL 32358

What should I bring? Wearing closed-toe shoes that can get wet is required. Also bring sun protection such as sunscreen and a hat, plus a water bottle. Work gloves will be provided.

How do I sign up? Please sign up for a specific time slot at

Questions? Please contact Katie Konchar, FWC Biologist at or 850-879-7520.